Exciting Fremantle forward Roxanne Roux is racing the clock to be at her best by round one after an injury-interrupted pre-season.
Roux will shoulder a lot of the Dockers’ forward load alongside dual All-Australian Gemma Houghton in 2022 after the team lost Sabreena Duffy and Ash Sharp for the upcoming season.
The 20-year-old burst onto the scene in 2020, with her stellar two-goal outing in the first AFLW western derby stamping her as a player to watch.
Roux struggled to have a big impact in 2021 as she split her time between being the back-up ruck and the second key position forward.
Dockers coach Trent Cooper said Roux had knee and quad issues this pre-season which had restricted her ability to train before Tuesday’s practice match loss to West Coast, where she was unusually quiet.
“She’s had a really interrupted pre-season, so she’s probably been out on the track the least out of our team,” Cooper said.
“For her, you could see it today particularly early, her timing was right off and she worked into it later on in the game.
“She’s got a bit of work to do to be available and ready for round one, but we know what a talent she is.
“Last year, she did win us a game against Carlton. She had a very similar statistical year to the year before, so people didn’t think there was a massive improvement, but it was still pretty solid.
“We hope that once she gets up and firing she can give us something as well.”
Cooper believed he had the personnel to cover the loss of Duffy and Sharp, with the pair combining for 14 goals last season.
He said former captain Kara Antonio, who was rested for the practice match, was a key part of the structure going forward, despite kicking just eight goals in 37 matches.
“We think we can get the forward line that can be dangerous,” Cooper said.
“Kara Antonio is going to be a big key to that forward line, she’s been really impressive through the pre-season.
“Not only does she play well, but she sets everything up well and puts everyone in good positions, I think when she’s there she can make a real difference to our forward line.”
There were some positives for the Dockers out of the nine-point loss to the Eagles, with uncapped Irish recruit Aine Tighe and forward Ann McMahon getting through the game unscathed after injury ruined their past two seasons.
Philipa Seth finished the game with ice on her right ankle after a late injury.